AD: Hi there! Thanks so much to agreeing to do this e-mail interview. I am really happy about this opportunity as you have to be the most exciting band out there at the moment!! Well, I hope you’re sitting comfortably!!!
ZN: Hi Andy and thanks for the kind words. THE most exciting band are quite big words! Ha! Ha!
AD: You guys must be very excited about the new album! I have to say, it’s one of the most powerful and impressive albums that the death metal scene has seen in a while! How do you feel about the new album as a follow up to Bleeding The False?
ZN: Yeah! We are all excited to say the least. This time we really put some pressure on ourselves to make a cool album in quite a short time. We said to ourselves that we don´t wanna sit and wait for months between every song that we write. And I really think we did great. We came up with the best songs we’ve ever made.
I think with BTF we tried something different in the metal scene as we had a very clean production. Very clean guitars with very little distortion, and everything on that album is very sharp and distinct. With that I guess that we’ve proven that we can play our instruments, but that’s not what it should be about. It should be about raw, aggressive and fat sound. On RTD we sound more like we do in a live situation.
AD: A lot of people might think that because this is only your second full length album, that you have only been around for a few years, but some members of the band have been around a while, i.e. Defaced Creation. With two full length releases under your belt, how have things progressed for you over recent years?
ZN: Well I guess that you learn the longer as you carry on doing something, and I guess that since we’ve been playing for some while before we started Aeon, we had a little lead, since we did not have to give out anything that we have to be ashamed of later. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Often you can really see when bands get signed too early; their first 2-3 albums aren’t too well performed. I guess that with Aeon we’ve sure been learning as we’ve been around, but looking back on the first EP to the new album, I think we’ve held a pretty even level on our records.
AD: What was it like for you signing to a label as renowned as Metal Blade last year? It must be exciting for you to see how things will develop over the next year with regards to how you’re promoted and supported, etc?
ZN: Yeah! We are very excited to see how things will go on from here. Over the last weeks we´ve done more interviews than we´ve done during our whole time in Aeon!!
And we´re very happy and satisfied how easy Metal Blade are to work with. Real professionals.
AD: Regarding the tour with Cannibal Corpse, how did that go? I hear that those guys are real easy to get along with. I know for a fact that Alex Webster is a big fan of you.....!! Any funny stories that aren’t too incriminating from the tour?? Who’s the band’s beer monster?!!
ZN: That tour went really well. CC and their crew are all GREAT guys, very helpful and yeah….they seemed to be great fans of Aeon. They actually watched us every show that we did, except the one in Stockholm. And that was of course very cool for us as we have been CC fans for many years. One funny thing that happened was in Scotland, Glasgow, after the whole gig when we where loading up the buses. Me and some guys from the CC crew where talking about Prostitute Disfigurement (they were on that tour too), and we referred to them as “the prostitute guys”. This sure made the people who were working at the venue give funny looks!! Ha! Ha! Ha! They asked us though, so we explained it to them!
AD: Were there any gig venues that you particularly enjoyed on the tour – for any reason, be it location, fans, or the sound?
ZN: The first gig in London was very cool. Very big and cool venue for us and it was the first time for us to meet CC. They all gave us great feedback for Bleeding The False. In fact, so much that we almost thought they were kidding!! Also the venue in France with the cool after-party was great!
AD: I’m aware that you had to pull out of the Metal Blade gig in the U.S. That must have been annoying for you as I know you tried very hard to get a replacement drummer in to try to learn the material.
ZN: Yeah, that was a big setback for us. This is a huge tour that we had to cancel and it sucks man!
We know that our biggest fan-base is in the US, and we´ve been very eager to do the states, but since we could not do it 100% this time, we decided to cancel instead. We wanna give the American fans what we give to the European fans.
AD: I know that Ostersund is a little out of the way in Sweden. How is the metal scene around your local area? Is there a resurgence in the popularity of Brutal Death metal or has it always been there?
ZN: Actually it´s right in the very middle of Sweden, but I guess that you mean in terms of population. The scene is pretty cool here! I really think it has hit a second wave in popularity here. Now it´s bigger than ever! I don’t know if it´s because of all the bands in the genre from here or not.
AD: Do you have contact at all with any of the old boys of Swedish Death metal like Unleashed, Dismember, Grave, etc? Is there a lot of support between bands?
ZN: Yeah some of them, Nils knows the guys in Unleashed, we´ve crossed roads with Jörgen Sandström from Grave a couple of times. Of course Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Infestdead etc) who mixed and mastered RTD.
AD: Tommy’s vocal style is one of the better death metal vocal styles out there. You get the deep growls and some excellent screams. Is there any particular vocalist that was an inspiration and did George Fisher give Tommy any tips when on tour?? Some of the “euurgghs” sound as cool as David Vincent’s style!! Awesome stuff!
ZN: To me Tommy has always been one of my favourite DM vocalists, but with this recording I must say that he is my #1 favourite. I feel just like you, and he sounds more like he does live on this recording, and it is just totally devastating! I know that Glen Benton always has been his main influence. Tommy and George really were hanging with each other all the time on the tour. I don’t think George gave any lessons or so, but they really flattered each other all the time like -“no no the think you do on that part is the coolest” -“oh no, I could never do what you´re doing on that part in that song”, etc etc Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
AD: With the new album “Rise to Dominate”, the arrangement of the songs is simply excellent. Is it a process that comes naturally for you? How long did the writing process take for this album and was it any different from “Bleeding....”?
ZN: We try to keep the songs pretty simple. The recipe that I use often is: opening, verse, bridge, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, some alternative riff, solo, alt riff again, bridge, chorus, and them some cool ending. So it´s pretty much the usual rock n´roll structure. In there I put some small details and variations to make it worth listening to the whole song. I also make sure that every song should have at least one innovative thing that should really make you recognise the song when you hear it. I don’t like it when bands throw in new riffs through the whole songs, it just won´t be catchy that way. We had 3-4 songs done pretty early on, but the most of the songs were written in about 6 months.
AD: You must be bloody happy with the job the Dan Swano did with the tracks? I know that he spent some time in Bloodbath and you can hear the same heaviness of production as in “Nightmares Made Flesh”. It’s a bloody brutal sound and has a unique “crunch” to it!
ZN: Indeed we are!! He was very nice and easy to work with. He asked us what we wanted sound wise, and we mentioned albums like Nevermore “This Godless Endeavour” and CC “Kill” We held an open contact all the time to make some adjustments, and I think that he did what we asked him to do…and even more. I still notice cool effects he threw in here and there.
AD: What bands have influenced you as both writers and performers? I’ve noticed on your myspace that you liken yourselves to Deicide, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. Did the time on the road with Cannibal influence your writing style at all?
ZN: Our main influences have always been the bands that you mentioned and also Meshuggah, Gorguts and Suffocation. Of course other bands too, but they’re the main influences for Aeon. For this album I must say that I had Nevermore as a big influence too. And Jeff Loomis (of Nevermore) inspired some of my leads too which I think you could hear in some parts! For the last track I actually had Eric Serra and his “Timecrash” from the soundtrack for “The Fifth Element” as inspiration. Anyone who would listen and compare the two of them would hear that.
AD: I certainly believe that you are one of the strongest acts out there at the moment and the new album is simply awesome. So, when will you guys be hitting the road in support of the new album?
ZN: ASAP I hope. All we wanna do is tour! We love touring, that’s the harvest of our work. We really hope we could do this for a living soon, so that we can do the next couples of albums sooner. Right now we have to see how things will work out with sharing Nils with Dark Funeral. If it works, then fine…and if not, we´ll have to look for a new drummer since we refuse to be a side project. Aeon should be the main-band for all our members.
AD: Once again, I just want to thank you for your time! I can honestly say that I’m a big fan and that I think the new album will kick ass!! Best of luck in the future and I am chomping at the bit to see you live again!! Cheers!
ZN: Thank you for the PR opportunity! Ha! Ha!!!
Aeon are a band that I’m sure we’ll be hearing about for a time to come, and if you’ve got some well earned cash at the ready, then you’d do far worse than buying the excellent “Rise to Dominate”!! Out on September 10th on Metal Blade Records.
Interviewed by Andy Duke